A birder’s view of … the Monegros.

The Monegros, Ebro Valley. The most arid part of northern Spain.

Birding in the Monegros, a haven for steppeland birds.

This is still one of the best birding areas in northeast Spain for dryland, or steppeland, birds. Calandra larks, Lesser Short Toed larks, Short Toed larks, Lesser kestrels, Black-bellied Sandgrouse, Little Bustard and even a relict population of Great Bustard inhabit this seemingly barren landscape.

Alas, apart from birders and a handful of naturalists, the Monegros are unloved. Most decision-makers would rather see thousands of hectares of transgenic maize, or better still, something like “Las VegasII” – a 2,000 ha leisure complex  with 32 hotels, golf courses, all in the middle of the semi-desert.

And they say the wildlife won’t be affected.

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